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Town promises hero's welcome for Murdoch

TEAM GB's men's curling skip David Murdoch has been promised a hero's welcome in his hometown of Lockerbie after winning a silver medal at the Winter Olympics.

Despite a crushing 9-3 defeat to a strong Canadian quartet, people who gathered at Lockerbie Ice Rink yesterday vowed he would receive the warmest welcome possible, regardless of the colour of the Olympic medal worn around his neck.

Murdoch and his team of Greg Drummond, from Forfar, Scott Andrews, from Prestwick, Michael Goodfellow, from Stirling, and Tom Brewster, from Aberdeen, never recovered from a poor start.

But the Dumfriesshire town's only rink buzzed with pride as around 120 people gathered to watch the final beamed from Sochi in Russia.

Murdoch's framed signed shirt from his 2009 World Championship victory hangs in pride of place at the club where he started playing the sport as a youngster.

Sisters Tracy Semple, 41, and Karen McClintock, 38, secured a prime spot in front of one of the giant TV screens.

Adorned in a Union flag bowler hat and flanked by flags, Ms Semple said: "This was the place to be in Lockerbie.

"They should all be proud of themselves.

"A silver medal is a personal best."

Katie Stevenson, 27, a member of Lockerbie Ice Rink, did her best not to show her disappointment at the result and said both Murdoch's team and women's skip Eve Muirhead, whose team won bronze medals on Thursday, had inspired people to try the sport.

She said: "It's made me want to get back into playing competitively again.

"This level of competition really is inspiring. The ice rink has been so busy and really is the centre of the community.

"There's only a few thousand Olympians and to know our curling teams started here... it's amazing."

At the men's team's main training base at The Peak in Stirling, around 50 new and experienced curling fans gathered to watch the match on big screens.

Logan Gray, ice development officer at Active Stirling, said more than 300 first-time curlers had taken to the rink at The Peak since the start of the Winter Olympics.

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